Florida Taxpayers At Risk for Identity Theft & Tax Fraud
Florida, especially South Florida, taxpayers are at risk for identity theft and tax fraud. South Florida leads the country in reported identity theft, according to a recent identity theft report. Miami has the highest incidence of identity theft with five other Florida cities closely behind – Port St. Lucie ranked 6th, Tampa 7th, Orlando 12th, Gainesville 13th, Lakeland 14th, Punta Gorda 15th.
The IRS has already reviewed almost 2 million tax returns in an attempt to keep fraudulent tax refunds being sent to identity thieves. As a result, taxpayers’ refunds are being delayed. In some cases, the refunds will not go out for up to 18 months. According to US Senator Bill Nelson, identity theft tax fraud may cost up to $10 billion!
Senator Nelson has proposed a bill that would make it a felony to use someone’s Social Security or taxpayer identification numbers to file a false return. Also, the bill requires the IRS to develop a nationwide PIN (personal identification number) system that identity-theft victims can use to securely speed processing of their returns. The IRS has implemented a PIN system and issued more than 250,000 PINS this filing season.
By early this month, “about 125 tax-related ID theft cases have been brought to our office’s attention since the first of the year,” spokesman Bryan Gulley said. Victims can detail their IRS identity-theft problems to Nelson’s Orlando-based aide, Dolly Kobernat, at 888-671-409. FULL STORY
Identity theft victims also have rights under the Fair Credit Reporting Act. For example, victims have the right to obtain a free credit report and the right to place a fraud alert on their credit file with Equifax, Experian and Trans Union. Our firm represents identity theft victims across the country. Have you been a victim of identity theft?
Contact attorney Micah Adkins 24/7 at 1-800-263-9091 for a free case review and identity theft information kit. Or, use the form below: